108 Brasserie in Marylebone
In the chill wind of December, with your head down and scarf pulled up to your eyes, it would be easy to miss 108 Brasserie. What a travesty that would be. Stepping into the restaurant bestowed the festive element of Christmas: larger-than-life wreaths decorated windows with sparkles of luxurious gold and silver embellishments. The music piped through created a laid-back atmosphere that allowed conversation to flow.
Attentive waiters were on hand to discuss the beverage list. The rosé selection was limited to two variations, but cocktails abounded, with the 108 Edition cocktail a standout. The Bacardi Gold and Angostura bitters provided the baseline, with the sweetness of pineapple syrup riding the wave. All work in harmony to create a refreshing cocktail that is far too easy to sip through two thin black straws.
Then, the starter appeared: Seared Tuna with a gorgeous soy dressing. With each mouthful of slices of tuna lavishly decorated with pockets of baby radish, the intensity of the dish increased. Self-restraint was necessary to avoid cramming as much of it into one forkful as is possible. Attention was soon claimed by the Octopus Carpaccio, which was completely overlooked on the menu. When it arrived at the table, the arrangement alone encouraged a lean forward to claim a piece of its artistry. Luckily permission was granted to dabble in its light flavour, complemented by the tomato sprinkled lavishly on top.
Up next was the Spelt Risotto with wild mushrooms, which defied normal convention. The portion size was just right and far from intimidating, without a gloopy consistency. Conversation took a back burner to savour each mouthful. It would have been a travesty to remain naive to the execution of the Leg of Venison accompanied by a side of dauphinoise potatoes, sliced to thin consistency layer by layer. The venison was flaky and embodied the texture of silk. Although the risotto and venison were two separate entities from the mains section, together they felt like a match made in heaven.
A digestif was imminent, as a Baileys coffee lives on the dessert menu. The aroma was festive with a slight tinge of sharp intoxicating coffee bean scent. The texture proposed a contrast of creamy consistency, which would lead one to assume that bed time would soon approach and evoke a sleep state. The undertone of coffee formed a successful partnership with the Baileys to create a luxurious warming sensation. The Warm Chocolate Fondant and Peanut Butter Ice Cream that sat across the table within moments was inhaled. The memory of its existence was credited with the words “authentic” for the ice cream and “perfect execution” for the chocolate fondant that when a spoon was introduced to it revealed its soft gooey insides.
This description sums up 108 Brasserie, a wonderful addition to the Marylebone dining scene.
★★★★★Food ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
Ninette Osei Wilson
Photos: Daniel Donovan
To book at table at 108 Brasserie, 108 Marylebone Lane London W1U 2QE, call 0207 969 3900 or visit here.